Speaking at his book launching function in Simpang Ampat, Penang, he stressed that his London-based younger brother Waythamoorthy was the movement's one and only leader.“Even I am just the movement's legal advisor,” he told some 300 people.
He recalled that inspector-general of police Musa Hassan was first to address the five as Hindraf leaders on the very day they were detained on Dec 13, 2007.
“We were all IGP-appointed Hindraf leaders,” quipped Uthayakumar.
He said that one shall either be elected or appointed by the movement members to claim oneself as leader.
“Waythamoorthy was duly elected by Hindraf committee a few years ago to head the movement. He is the rightful leader, not any other person,” said Uthayakumar, who heads the newly-formed Human Rights Party.
Uthayakumar was detained under ISA along with Kota Alam Shah state representative M Manoharan, DAP member V Ganabatirau, R Kengadharan and then unknown T Vasanthakumar.
They were detained without trial under the security law following a mammoth Hindraf rally in Kuala Lumpur on Nov 25, 2007.
“I, Manoharan, Kengadharan and Ganabatirau were Hindraf lawyers while Vasanthakumar was just a Hindraf activist,” said Uthayakumar.
They were all released from the Kamunting detention camp by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak three months ago.
Since then all five have gone separate ways.
Brothers accused of misappropriating funds
Ganabatirau and Vasanthakumar have constantly been sniping at Uthayakumar and Waythamoorthy, claiming that both brothers have misappropriated Hindraf funds.
While in detention last year, Vasanthakumar had lodged a police report accusing the two brothers of misappropriating some RM700,000 of Hindraf funds.
Uthayakumar explained that he had then specifically told the police officer investigating Vasanthakumar's report that Hindraf had only RM250,000 in its accounts as of January 2008.
He said subsequently he had lodged a report calling on the police to investigate the whereabouts of the remaining RM450,000, as alleged by Vasanthakumar.
“I told the police to locate the money and return it to Hindraf. The police never came back to me on that,” said Uthayakumar, the most famous Hindraf face.
He stressed that the current attacks by certain Hindraf detractors against him and Waythamoorthy were made with malicious intention aimed at tarnishing the brothers' reputation and undermining their struggle.
“It's defamatory and 'mala fide',” he said, slamming the critics that they should instead focus on resolving the plight of the Indian Malaysians.
Uthayakumar said he had listed down 4,932 types of human rights violations committed against the Indian community all these years in Malaysia. But he lamented these violations appeared unimportant to his critics.
According to Uthayakumar, before Dec 13, 2007, the current Hindraf critics were attacking Umno and Barisan Nasional for marginalising Indians.
But now, he said some have switched their focus to attacking him, Waythamoorthy and Hindraf with the sole agenda of splitting the movement and confused the community.